covenant

1 of 2

noun

cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
ˈkə-və-
1
: a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : compact
… international law, which depends upon the sanctity of covenants between rulers. George H. Sabine
2
a
: a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action
the deed conveying the land contained restrictive covenants
b
: the common-law action to recover damages for breach of such a contract
covenantal adjective

covenant

2 of 2

verb

cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
-ˌnant,
ˈkə-və-
covenanted; covenanting; covenants

transitive verb

: to promise by a covenant : pledge

intransitive verb

: to enter into a covenant : contract

Example Sentences

Noun an international covenant on human rights The restrictive covenants of the building development prohibit the construction of buildings over 30 feet tall. Verb a traditional rule held that a husband could not enter into a covenant with his wife, because that was the equivalent of covenanting with himself the home buyers had to covenant that they would restore and keep the house for at least 10 years in exchange for a low mortgage rate
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In the Bible, God calls on Israel to repent and return to principles articulated in his covenant with them. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Nov. 2022 After the covenant is proclaimed, there will inevitably be setbacks. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Sun Sentinel, 31 Oct. 2022 In the modern legal sense of the term, covenants place mutual obligations on two parties who enter into the covenant freely. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Oct. 2022 The land symbolizes the ancestral covenant, which predates slavery and defies Western notions of kinship, consecrating the bonds of the Bordelon family. Tanisha C. Ford, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2022 And Abraham falls into a deep sleep (tardemah) as the Jewish covenant of the pieces is given (Genesis 15:12). Rabbi Avi Weiss, Sun Sentinel, 19 Sep. 2022 This kind of covenant remains particularly potent on YouTube, where—for better or worse—people seek out content that reinforces their worldview. Vittoria Elliott, WIRED, 12 Oct. 2022 The demons transform into trauma, operating between flashbacks of the Santa Teresa covenant with bloody faces and slamming doors to the grocery store where Agnes works in the present. Michael Lee Simpson, EW.com, 5 Oct. 2022 In Los Angeles, Lawler’s Law is the covenant that states the first team to score 100 points wins a game. Bill Oram, oregonlive, 23 Aug. 2022
Verb
USA TODAY NETWORK LOS ANGELES — Alien: Covenant edged out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in a weekend space battle at the box office. Sandy Cohen, USA TODAY, 21 May 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'covenant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from present participle of covenir to be fitting, from Latin convenire

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of covenant was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near covenant

Cite this Entry

“Covenant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/covenant. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

covenant 1 of 2

noun

cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
: a solemn agreement : contract

covenant

2 of 2

verb

cov·​e·​nant ˈkəv-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
-ə-ˌnant
1
: to promise by a covenant : pledge
2
: to enter into a covenant

Legal Definition

covenant

noun

cov·​e·​nant ˈkə-və-nənt How to pronounce covenant (audio)
1
: an official agreement or compact
an international covenant on human rights
2
a
: a contract in its entirety or a promise within a contract for the performance or nonperformance of a particular act
a covenant not to sue
specifically : a promise relating to the transfer, possession, or ownership of real property see also covenant not to compete, restrictive covenant
b
: a warranty in a deed assuring the grantee especially against defects in title
a covenant for quiet enjoyment
see also run
3
: a common-law action to recover damages for breach of a contract under seal compare assumpsit, debt
covenant verb

More from Merriam-Webster on covenant

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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